April 23, 2012 12:00 PM

People TEACHER of the YEAR

Great teachers can change the lives of their students-and in so doing, change the world. That’s why PEOPLE is proud to announce a new initiative: the first PEOPLE Teacher of the Year Award, which will honor five educators, working in kindergarten through 12th grade, who are making a difference in their students’ lives. Starting this week, we are calling on readers to nominate outstanding teachers for the award and a $5,000 prize, with support from our sponsor, Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal. You can download an application by going to Nominations will be accepted through July 2, and the winners will be determined by PEOPLE’s editors with help from an independent panel of education professionals, including Kimberly Oliver Burnim, a prize-winning Maryland teacher, John Deasy, superintendent of L.A. Unified School District, Lily Eskelsen of the National Education Association, Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America, and Grammy-winning musician and philanthropist John Legend. To start off, this week we are featuring the inspiring story of an innovative science teacher, Wilson Arnold (page 94) of Neah Bay High School on the Makah Indian Reservation in Washington, who uses untraditional and sometimes hilarious methods to motivate his kids. His recipe for success, Arnold says, is simple: “You have to care.” Help us recognize other teachers who care deeply about America’s kids and all of our futures.


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